By our vows of chastity, poverty and obedience we offer God our heart and affections, our personal talents and gifts, our possessions and our will—all that we are and have—for his glory and the salvation of souls. Our fourth vow of hospitality perfects the gift of ourselves to God and brings our religious consecration into the concrete realities of everyday life. Saint Jeanne Jugan learned from Saint John Eudes that “religious consecration means to make profession of having but one life, one heart, one soul and one will with Jesus.” She summed it all up so simply—“All for you, my Jesus!” This is our life’s goal as we strive to be conformed to the mind and heart of Christ, so that we may do what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect (cf. Rom 12:1–2).
We wear our religious habit as a reminder to ourselves that we belong totally to Him and as a sign and witness to others of our consecration and of God’s presence in the world. Our habit is also a means of living our vow of poverty. Our habit is black with a gray veil. During the warmest months and caring for the sick or doing other hands-on tasks, we may wear a white habit. Our crucifix, worn under our habit, bears the words of Jesus in Saint Matthew’s Gospel:
“I am gentle and humble of heart.”